Health Services And The Crisis Of Capitalism

‘I was sick and you took care of me’ said Jesus, referring to anyone who cares for the sick, ‘so you inherit the kingdom’ (Matthew 25:16). The establishment of Britain’s National Health Service following the devastation of World War Two was the greatest single step towards establishing God’s kingdom on earth in the history of the world, Care for everyone at their point of need, regardless of their ability to pay, was its basis. As treatments and patients and costs increased this Service became fragmented and the ideal was frittered away. Health care became a series of products regulated by their exchange value, the person who needed care became a unit on the tick chart of a collection of employees.
Where the profit motive determines actions, the rich are over- investigated and the poor are undertreated. Well-off areas attract high flying doctors: poor areas get the worst practitioners and we get the curse of ‘two nations’ as in Charles Dickens’ time. 
This calamity can be avoided in two ways. The first is an uprising of faith-led health care people who follow a downwardly mobile vocation. The second is for health care budgets for each area to be allocated on the basis of the number of diagnosed patients rather than on population, and for published assessments to include the quality of person-centred, joined-up patient care, and patient satisfaction.


Posted at 15:21pm on 16th March 2012
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